As we head into 2013, I have a few inspiring faith stories to share with you.
Last week Georgia Dome in Atlanta was packed with Christian students beginning the New Year at the annual Passion worship conference. Over 60,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 heard from speakers like Louie Giglio, Frances Chan and Beth Moore.
The students took part in worship sessions and seminars, with an emphasis on fighting human trafficking and helping the poor. The attendees were asked to each bring a new towel and pair of socks to donate to local homeless shelters in Atlanta.
Christian musicians leading worship at Passion 2013 included Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder and Christy Nockels.
Closer to home, thousands of young Christians attended the Urbana Student Missions Conference in St. Louis. Urbana Director Tom Lin says over 4,000 of the students who attended the five-day conference committed to more than two years of missionary service in their lives.
The students accepted the challenge to both proclaim the gospel and to demonstrate Christian love through service. Planning will start soon for the next Urbana Student Missions Conference in 2015. If you would like to attend, or if you know a student who might be interested in attending, you can learn more at urbana.org.
And across the Atlantic, Pope Benedict says he believes peace can prevail in 2013, despite the problems in the world today. In his New Year's Day Mass, the Pope acknowledged the evils of terrorism, criminal acts and the inequality between rich and poor.
But he also said he is convinced the “numerous works of peace, in the world are testimony to the innate vocation of humanity to peace.” You can read the Pope’s entire homily at www.vatican.va.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.